As well as cryptocurrency, utilising data solutions has been one of the most talked-about topics within the esports business world.
Due to data’s growing emphasis in esports — particularly in the betting sector — a variety of companies have entered into the sector and bolstered operations in order to tap into esports data’s potential goldmine. One of these entities is GameScorekeeper, with the firm identifying esports data as a significant opportunity since 2016.
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Felix Klastrup, Founder and CEO at GameScorekeeper, sat down with Esports Insider’s sister company SBC to discuss the company’s development as an esports data provider. Moreover, he details how GameScorekeeper is helping its customers grow and adapt to the ever-evolving esports industry.
SBC: Can you start off by telling us a bit about GameScorekeeper’s background? What were the key objectives driving the launch in 2016?
Felix Klastrup: I started GameScorekeeper as a fusion of my two main interests: video games and data analysis. Esports was not yet mainstream back in 2016, but it seemed clear to me that the market would eventually be huge, so I took a chance and quit my corporate career to found the company.
It was a classic startup story of trying to find investors without more than an idea and hiring software developers without funding, but eventually, I managed to convince enough people about the potential and get the project underway. After that, we spent the first two years of the company’s lifetime just building the data platform that is still the foundation for all our products and services today.
SBC: Fast forward to the present day, who do you work with now? And how have your services developed over the last five years?
FK: Although we have customers across the media and fantasy sports industries, the betting industry is where we started, and along with fantasy sports, is where we feel the biggest opportunity exists.
After the initial phase of perfecting our technology, we started working with Pinnacle to supply our raw data services to help them build and compile their betting markets. This was the perfect customer for us as they required high-quality data and a supplier who could offer a bespoke solution which they could rely on.
We differentiate ourselves by working closely with each of our customers to understand their business objectives and product needs and then tailoring our services to meet them.
An example of this is how we work with DraftKings. Historically they have manually monitored and settled the matches they offer as part of their fantasy sports business.
This takes up a huge amount of resources which could be focused on other areas. They also had a unique way of calculating CS:GO clutches for example, so we adapted our product to take this into consideration and now offer a monitoring service so they can fully automate and outsource this requirement.
So to summarise, over the years we have developed into a specialist esports data provider delivering bespoke solutions to help our customers grow and adapt to the ever-evolving esports industry.
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SBC: What are some of the challenges that betting operators have when addressing the esports market?
FK: I think most betting operators know and understand they will only have marginal success within esports by simply adding a generic selection of esports betting markets into a traditional sports betting environment.
Yes, there is some crossover with their existing customer base, especially with more recognisable titles like CS:GO, but that’s not where the real opportunity lies.
The big challenge is how to reach and appeal to the emerging demographic and not to get left behind while still managing expectations within your existing business and revenue streams.
I believe you need a very different product to be really successful in this space. The offering needs to be much more sophisticated, every game title should be treated as a separate ‘sport’ for example, each with a unique offering.
And achieving this is not an easy task for established sports betting operators. It requires a clear product strategy, a vision that is supported by internal stakeholders and then of course a budget, resources and in-house expertise such as traders who understand the nuances of the individual games.
Operators will likely take a phased approach to develop their esports product, or they may acquire esports first brands at a later stage once they’ve adapted and innovated their offering to appeal to this new generation of fans who can then be converted to bettors.
SBC: Finally, what’s next for the esports industry? What can you learn from talking to operators about what they want to see next from the supply side?
FK: At GameScorekeeper we believe that the future of esports betting will be a very different experience from the traditional format you see today. Esports fans are different, they have grown up with and are used to having social and entertaining technology available at the click of a button.
Creating a truly entertaining experience first, where fans can immerse themselves in a dedicated esports space with like-minded people will draw in the numbers.
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